5 Steps For International Students to Study in the U.S.

Whether you plan to pursue a short-term or full degree program in the United States, Education USA has the resources you need in 'Your Five Steps to U.S. Study'. The US has the world’s highest population of international students. According to the Open Doors Report 2015 of the Institute of International Education, the number of foreign students in the country has increased over the years.

Students also choose to study in the US because of the vast financial aids available. Most universities would offer student grants, loans, and stipends to deserving students. This can be huge savings as these funds can help cover everyday expenses, such as food and transportation. Students can also spend their time doing part-time jobs on- and off-campus, some of which could also be related to your programme.

5 Steps For International Students to Study in the U.S.

Studying the US is a chance to expose yourself to various cultures. What better way to learn and experience the world than to immerse yourself, with your classmates, and discover the world together while studying in the US. Not only is this an opportunity to educate yourself about the things around you, but it is also a good way to network yourself and meet people from every walks of life.

1. Research Your Options

The first step to studying in the United States is researching your options to find a college or university that best fits your needs. You shouldn't try to match yourself to the school, but rather find the school that matches you and your priorities and long-term goals.

Remember that no official ranking system exists for colleges and universities in the United States. The best college or university is the one that is best for you and meets your requirements—academic, financial, and personal. Learn more.

2. Finance Your Studies

Invest in yourself! The cost of living and studying varies across the United States. With the right amount of planning and research, pursuing a U.S. higher education can be made affordable with high returns on your investment.

Start your financial planning as early as possible. Each year international students receive significant amounts of financial assistance for their studies. However, competition is high. Applications for financial aid go together with applications for admission.

When looking into studying in the United States, evaluating your finances should be one of the first things you do. As with any investment, you need to evaluate what's best for your educational and career goals and what you are willing to spend. Learn more.

3. Complete Your Application

You've now reached Step 3: Complete Your Application. This step covers the general application requirements for U.S. colleges and universities.

Applying for U.S. study is a task that takes time and concentration as each application is different and involves collecting recommendations, writing essays, and routing the results of required standard examinations. Plan to give this step the time it deserves for a successful result.

Choose your level of study to learn more about completing your application. Learn more.

4. Apply For Your Student Visa

You've now reached Step 4! Applying for your U.S. student visa. This next step will cover F, J and M student visa types.

Information pertaining to visas and travel can be found on the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Study in the States.

Choose your level of study to learn more about applying for your student visa.

5. Prepare For Your Departure

You've made it to Step 5! Preparing for your departure is the final step to Your Five Steps to U.S. Study.

Key components to this final step include making your travel arrangements, attending a pre-departure orientation at your local EducationUSA center or online, gathering pre-departure materials and documents for arrival, as well as reporting to your school and attending orientations.

Check your new institution's website for additional pre-departure information that will be more specialized and have information about health insurance, average local temperatures throughout the year, local transportation options, housing, and more.

Attend Pre-Departure Orientation

Education USA advising centers organize pre-departure orientations for students getting ready to depart for the United States. Education USA advisers and U.S. alumni provide information and resources that will help you prepare for new experiences and develop skills to adjust to new challenges. Topics discussed include cultural differences, motivation, changes from your home environment, academic systems and expectations, housing, and coping in a new cultural setting. Contact your closest Education USA advising center to attend a pre-departure orientation.

Arriving in the United States

Arriving in the United States should be a smooth experience if you have everything ready.

The Form I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record" is a critical record. It shows that you have been legally admitted to the United States, the class of admission, and the authorized period of stay. It is very important that the information on the record is correct. Inconsistencies between the information on the Form I-94 and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) records can reduce the chances of a successful systems interface. In particular, this can cause issues with status verification for Social Security numbers.

If you arrive by a land port, you will receive a paper Form I-94. If you arrive at the port of entry by air or sea, an automated Form I-94 record will automatically be generated for you by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. CBP will provide you with an admission stamp on your passport that is annotated with date of admission, class of admission and admitted-until date. Learn more.

Good Luck!


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